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The Most Spectacular And Extremely Rare Weather Phenomenons

Volcanic lightning during the Sakurajima eruption. Photo by Martin Rietze.

Over the centuries when extremely rare weather phenomenons occured it was believed that they were caused by wrath of the gods. Nowadays, we know it has nothing to do with the god’s wrath. But there are some unusual phenomenons that sometimes seem almost unreal. Numerous scientists scratching their heads trying to figure out what causes them. Learn more about the most spectacular and extremely rare weather phenomenons.

1. Halo

Halo is an optical phenomenon produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, resulting in a wide variety of colored or white rings, arcs and spots in the sky. It can be seen around the sun, or occasionally the Moon. The most popular halo is the circular halo (properly called the 22° halo), a circle with a radius of approximately 22° around the Sun. Read more on Wikipedia.

 A 22° halo around the sun in Padang, Indonesia


A 22° halo around the sun in Padang, Indonesia

Ice halo display captured by Joshua Thomas in Red River, New Mexico, USA on the morning of January 9, 2015. Via

Ice halo display captured by Joshua Thomas in Red River, New Mexico, USA on the morning of January 9, 2015. Via

2. Mammatus cloud

Mammatus clouds are most often associated with the anvil clouds and also severe thunderstorms. During the very hot day, Mammatus often signalize approaching heavy thunderstorms. Sometimes they even occur after severe weather. The clouds are usually composed of ice, but also can be a mixture of ice and liquid water or be composed of almost entirely liquid water. Read more on Wikipedia.

Mammatus clouds in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Mammatus clouds in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

3. Rain of animals

Raining animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which flightless animals “rain” from the sky. The phenomenon have been reported in many countries throughout centuries. In the past, people believed that rain of animals is caused by the action of the gods. Nowadays, one hypothesis offered to explain this phenomenon is that tornadic waterspouts sometimes pick up creatures such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles. Read more on Wikipedia.

4. Circumhorizontal arc

A circumhorizontal arc is an ice-halo formed by the refraction of sun- or moonlight in plate-shaped ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. In its full form, it occurs as a large, brightly spectrum-coloured band running parallel to the horizon, located below the Sun or Moon. The circumhorizontal arc is also called “fire rainbow”, although it is neither a rainbow, nor related in any way to fire.Read more on Wikipedia.

Photographed in Ravenna, Michigan, USA

Photographed in Ravenna, Michigan, USA

5. Green flash

Here’s another rare phenomenon occurring in the atmosphere right after sunset or right before sunrise. Green flash is a small, usually green spot visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The effect is visible for only a few seconds. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors. They usually are seen at an unobstructed horizon, such as over the ocean. Read more on Wikipedia.

Green flash in Santa Cruz, California

Green flash in Santa Cruz, California

6. Ball lightning

Ball lightning is an unexplained atmospheric electrical phenomenon. It occurs suddenly, usually during or just after the thunderstorm. It is usually spherical shaped in diameter from pea-sized to several meters. The strangest thing is how the ball moves. Most of them often flies horizontally above the ground. Some of them likes to suddenly change directions, and sometimes freeze for a short time in air. Many early reports say that the ball eventually explodes, sometimes with fatal consequences, leaving behind the odor of sulfur. Until the 1960s, most scientists argued that ball lightning was not a real phenomenon but an urban myth, despite numerous reports throughout the world. Read more on Wikipedia.

Ball Lightning

7. Catatumbo lightning

The Catatumbo Lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela, where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The lightnings are created because the icy winds blowing from the Andes, methane that occurs on swampy plains and the oil deposits in the area. Some scientists estimated that lightnings struck up to 280 times per hour. The area is considered to be the world’s largest single generator of tropospheric ozone. This phenomenon has been popularly known for centuries as the Lighthouse of Maracaibo, since it is visible for miles around Lake Maracaibo and the observer can not hear the thunders. Read more on Wikipedia.

 Catatumbo Lightning at night


Catatumbo Lightning at night

8. Volcanic lightning

A Volcanic lightning (or dirty thunderstorm) is a weather phenomenon related to the production of lightning in a volcanic plume. A study in the journal Science indicated that electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce static charges, just as ice particles collide in regular thunderstorms. Read more on Wikipedia.

Volcanic lightning during the Sakurajima eruption. Photo by Martin Rietze.

Volcanic lightning during the Sakurajima eruption. Photo by Martin Rietze.

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There will be something about me. I'm too lazy now.

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